Encyclopedia of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

2009 Edition
| Editors: Florian Lang

Pathological Gambling

  • Undine E. Lang
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29676-8_3237

Synonyms

Impulse control disorders; Addiction

Definition and Characteristics

Pathological gambling is classified in the DSM-IV as a disorder of impulse control with the essential feature being recurrent and maladaptive gambling behavior. Pathological gambling is a male dominated chronic progressive disease characterized by the overwhelming wish to gamble, with harmful consequences, thus sharing typical features with other impulse control disorders like trichotillomania, kleptomania or pyromania [1].

Prevalence

With rates of about 0.2–3.4%, pathological gambling is a prevalent and highly disabling impulse control disorder, which also represents a form of non-pharmacological addiction. Gambling is strongly connected with antisocial personality disorder and substance abuse disorder but associations exist with depression, cyclothymia, bipolar disorder, alcohol, tobacco and attention deficit hyperactivity and with obsessive-compulsive, antisocial, narcissistic and borderline personality...

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References

  1. 1.
    Dannon PN, Lowengrub K, Gonopolski Y, Musin E, Kotler M (2006) Pathological gambling: a review of phenomenological models and treatment modalities for an underrecognized psychiatric disorder. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 8:334–339PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Eisen SA, Lin N, Lyons MJ et al. (1997) Familial influences on problem gambling: an analysis of 3,359 twin pairs. Am J Med Gen 74:657–658Google Scholar
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    Comings DE, Gade-Andavolu R, Gonzalez N, Wu S, Muhleman D, Chen C, Koh P, Farwell K, Blake H, Dietz G, MacMurray JP, Lesieur HR, Rugle LJ, Rosenthal RJ (2001) The additive effect of neurotransmitter genes in pathological gambling. Clin Genet 60:107–116PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Ibanez A, Blanco C, de Castro IP, Fernandez-Piqueras J, Saiz-Ruiz J (2003) Genetics of pathological gambling. J Gambl Stud Spring 19:11–22Google Scholar
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    American Psychiatric Association (2000) DSM-IV-TR: Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. American Psychiatric Association, ArlingtonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Undine E. Lang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyCharité University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany